I am writing this post, the first one of our trip, from Wilbur’s Mechanic in Tok Alaska. We’re here getting a brake line fixed. In part this is thanks to the gnarly pot holed, frost heaved and washboarded surface of the Alaska highway, but mostly it’s due to my own ignorance of the proper operating procedures for the air ride system. We’re now on day 8 on the road and there is much to tell, but first this blog and this trip need an introduction.
Welcome to our blog, The Little Camper That Could. My name is Thomas, and my girlfriend Jessa is my travel companion. I have wanted to travel on an open ended schedule for a long time. I am lucky to have been raised in a family where we traveled often and that’s where my wanderlust springs from. Since graduating with a mechanical engineering degree from UBC I have been working for an engineering consulting firm in Surrey. At a time when many of my colleagues are getting married and putting down payments on houses I have chosen to invest my money differently. Whether buying a house is the smartest way to invest your money aside, I have chosen to invest in an experience instead. When I come back I will likely have no money, no camper, and generally far fewer possessions than I own now. What I’ll gain is a lot less tangible, and a lot less certain.
This February, in the midst of one if the poorest snow seasons in over a decade in British Columbia’s coastal ranges, we headed to about the only place in the world we’d heard had snow, Japan. Jessa and I formulated the plan for the trip on a plane to Tokyo. Sometimes it takes 9 hours of being confined to an airplane seat to come up with this kind of idea. Between a 40 hour work week (or 50 or 60 or more), social engagements, family time, extracurriculars or whatever else takes up ones time I have found that it becomes very hard to find time for reflection and mindfulness.
We bounced many ideas around; Nepal, Bhutan, India. Ultimately we decided that the trip for us would be to drive from Alaska to Argentina, the great Pan American adventure. I was born in Calgary, and grew up skiing and hiking in the Canadian Rockies. I have always been drawn by the mountains, so it seemed a natural choice to start in the legendary Chugach and Alaska Ranges and work our way down to the Andes; hiking, skiing, surfing, and climbing all the way down. With a destination set, the next step was to find the right vehicle for the journey.
Now, back to Tok, Alaska where the mechanic has finally managed to find the only Toyota truck in the scrap yard and scavenge a break line. We should be minutes away from being road ready. Stay tuned for our next post which introduces my travel companion Jessa, as well as our third travel partner, The Little Camper That Could and starts getting into some stories from the road.